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Posts Tagged ‘Love’

Harry Edenfield, a Christian author, offers a thought-provoking daily devotional for this season of Lent.

Today’s verse is from Genesis 19:16: “But Lot lingered. So the angels seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.”

Edenfield reflects, “Lord God, your servant Lot lingered in Sodom. Sometimes I love my chosen place too much. You urge me to leave my sin spot.

I linger.

I linger even if it may be injurious to my loved ones. Remember me: I, too, need an escort from the magnet of sin.

As we leave together, Holy Spirit, urge me to have no regret about the exit from sin. Urge me not to look back.”

Amen.

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Thank You, God, for Your greatest commandment of LovE!

Thank You for humour, for beauty, for drama, for restoration, for peace and for Your steadfastness in the face of brokenness and change.

We love You, Lord….Amen!

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God whispers, “Wait!
I’m not done with you yet!”
Greet the sun’s rise
And wait for its set.

“The full day is Mine,”
So sayeth the Lord;
And rest in the night,
Not fearful or bored.

For night, like the winter,
Seeks not to destroy,
Darkness in valleys
Spawns splendor and joy…

Just when you think
You can’t take anymore,
God shows us the shutness
THEN opens the door.

Faith is an exercise
Not to achieve,
But trod as a journey,
Daily gift to receive.

Pause to see beauty 
Each step of the way,
And God will rain mercy
And grace on your day.

Where today’s poem was spawned…

Thanks, God, for faith, hope and love, the greatest of which is always love.

May we learn to be gracefully patient and guided by Love, each step of the way.

Lord, have Mercy, and thank You for unconditional love and the wisdom in Waiting.

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Sometimes we ask, “How does this end?”

But does it really ever end? Or are endings really new beginnings?

Here are some of my favorite “endings” that actually opened the most amazing doors to new beginnings:

The first evening of my mother’s “running away” from dementia, that helped her feel both at home and free from home, all at once.
Soiled toes after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. We thought our beaches would never be the same, but God was gracious to restore in due time, as He always does.
What sea stars do when they free themselves from their captors out of children’s beach pails and escape back to the sea, alive and free again!
The end of a rum runner schooner from 2 centuries ago…nobody has the $ to rescue it, so it just keeps eroding on a remote beach, a treasure to the few who frequent the far reaches of the peninsula, a legend to those from afar…

2014-02-27_18-29-59_630_thumb.jpg

The end of a virtual fantasy and the beginning of an indestructible, eternal bff-ship.
The end of life as we knew it pre-Katrina…once the grief passed, the rebuilding was mostly emotional, projected onto the current landscape should you visit NOL.
The end of David’s life, 6 weeks in a coma and no hope…but the doctors had us sign papers to authorize unorthodox treatments and I stood glued to the wall praying as they applied said treatments in the form of laughing gas and yelling at him to hang in there and stay with us….and he did, and turned 19 last month.
Hurricane Ivan’s destruction, 2004, year before Katrina – rocking my baby in my lap singing hymns as our ears popped when the winds hit 130 and we could no longer hear trees falling around us, but had to trust totally in the Lord..our kids remember that night and our faith and serve God with gratitude to this day.
The ending of a century-old era, my Cubbies losing. Oh, ye of little faith! God delivers if You sit tight and see what He has in store!
Elizabeth died some days after this 93rd birthday…but her death was the beginning of a new legacy of strength, courage and untold creativity….Just open your heart to what lies ahead.
Death of hips – yeah, finished the marathon in David’s honor, but was sidelined early in life with titanium and polyurethane shortly thereafter….pace thyself!

The end of anonymity – red flag hair day unexpectedly revealed last Sunday. God reigns in all things!

Thank You, God, for endings, which usher in brand new opportunities and beginnings. You are the Omega and the Alpha, and everything in between. You’ve got this! May we all embrace endings as we would beginnings….both bring new life and growth.

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A vanishing point is an interesting study, and perhaps not just for points of convergence or disappearing lines.

I recently found some vanishing points in fire, fog and falls…helping the mind fill in what may lie just beyond, where lines, images and elements dissipate and invite imagination to take it from there.

Kind of like vague relationships.

In my line of work doing online therapy, research is showing that the “fantasy factor” helps both client and counselor achieve an optimal working relationship, even though the missing gaps may or may not be accurate. Freud was on to something when he chose to sit behind the couch, just out of the line of vision of the patient.

The brain and God are faithful to give us exactly what we need to get through this thing called Life.

My eyes saw these realities, but my mind filled in the blanks of what it might be like to go just beyond. I forewent captions, for you to enjoy them as you see them.

A recognizable scene, given pause, may rise to unrecognizable dreams. A waterfall seen from beneath, has an unseen origin, where gravity may not be so pronounced. A slumbering volcano is made awake and alive by rumors of gnomes and fairies beneath.

I invite your mind to fill in the blanks – joie de vivre! 💋

Thanks, God, for the fantasies and illusions that give us hope, faith and perseverance.

May we never tire as we approach the vanishing point, always finding that extra burst of energy to see what awaits us around the curve.

Give us courage to face what’s on the other side, just beyond our line of vision, and equip us with confidence to accept Your will as we pursue the point of convergence.

Take us around that distant bend, Lord, and infuse us with elegant grace and poignant wisdom.

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Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday !

Scenes from my beach world this week-

Unexpected gifts continually wash up on our shores…

Baby Jesus hasn’t quite arrived yet in this scene, the fourth Sunday of Advent

Silent night ahead

Children playing outside in the courtyard, as seen through the church’s “eyes to the world”

A play on the term “Christmas Tag!”

Thank You, God, for gifts that don’t come in boxes…

…and for gifts that do. Merry Christmas, y’all!

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In the last installment, Subtropical storm Alberto was about to impose on my world. Perhaps the main twisted part had to do with the media coverage elsewhere (for ratings’ sake) than what actually was the case here.

The good news was it provided some great surf for the local surfer fanatics who don’t have the luxury of living in Australia or Hawaii. And that my kid’s skull wasn’t impacted. The bad news came home this morning:

No worries, we were able to save the ankle tether and this was just a backup surf board.

Now we’re just waiting for a “real” storm.

I don’t think I’ve introduced you to Donut the therapy dog yet….Santa brought him at Christmas to our house from a very special place across the country, for our special needs kids:

(when in my lap, he doubles as Toonces the Driving Dog)

He is decked out for Memorial Day.

God bless all who sacrificed their lives for ouR freedom….

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Who can resist a well-earned Special Olympics smile from a kid who wasn’t supposed to live past age 4?

David turns 18 in 22 days!

Thank You, God, for defying all odds, for playing the ultimate April Fool’s joke on death – showing the universe for once and for all that where death seems inevitable, life rocks on!

That there is no such thing as finality, that You are the only Omega…and Your gift is eternal life. May we always recognize that those things seeming to a close = opportunity for new beginnings in ways we haven’t yet fathomed.

And therein lies faith…and trust. Faith and trust that there is always more in store than we can possibly know or deserve in our finite wisdom. Thanks, God, for perpetual resurrection and preciousness in all things. SMILE!!

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The path to Christmas at our house seemed a lot like the one for which the day itself celebrates.

This year has been a long, hard journey…only to get to the end to find no room at the inn, in many ways.

The year has been a story of disabilities, disasters and way too many losses….but also one of perseverance, sharpening and victories, often disguised as hardships. I am highly confident that 2017 will be a year of rebuilding and grace.

So, there weren’t as many gifts under the tree this year, and many of them would have blended in with the latest Fruit of the Loom commercial….which may sound bleak for American children in this day and age – at least at first glance.

But in our culture of entitlement, I think it was just what the children needed to learn some valuable character lessons. 

Less yields more appreciation and a deeper sense of valuing “Stuff.” Less is just what was needed to drive home some salient points we parents otherwise try to teach our children with varying degrees of success. 

I can safely say it is much harder to teach some of these lessons unless a child experiences the sting of disappointment, of going without. A little humility yields great things!

There were lessons this morning in climbing out of a pit, of garnering one’s creativity and ingenuity to generate solutions to get where you want to be, to realizing your dreams. To being the one to make your own dreams come true instead of relying upon others and the world to make it happen FOR you. 

Actually, kind of like the very premises our country was founded upon!

Instead of a spirit of downtrodden weakness, a prevailing spirit of hope, faith and love.

And it didn’t come in the form of an expensive gift, it was not proud, it did not boast. There were no clanging cymbals.

My friends, God was right when He said the greatest of these is LOVE. This gift sat in at the back of the tree in a little silver, unmarked box, having gone mostly unnoticed until this morning.

The very youngest child patiently waited until all the gifts had been opened and he quietly padded over to his mother, the one in the room whose name was not on any of the gifts (because it’s all about the kids, right?) and he handed her the plain  tin box and eagerly waited for her to open it. 

His light blue eyes danced with anticipation as she carefully opened it and joyously received the greatest gift of all:


And Merry Christmas with love to you all! 

May God bless you richly with His love…but don’t look for it at the 5 star resort in the top-floor suite. It can be found in a quiet valley of solitude, where things are simple and lowly, sweet and holy.

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~Diaper-changing exacerbates any early-onset arthritis you may be in the process of acquiring.

~The Jehovah’s Witness that comes to the door and wakes everybody up at naptime comments, “I see you have a lovely grandchild!”

~Grabbing the child by the back of the OshKosh overalls while they’re attempting to escape, causes a pulled muscle underneath your rib cage. For eight days.

~You look forward to their nap time not so you can get the dishes and laundry done, but so that you can nap too, to gas up for the next round of their shenanigans.

~Your back goes out while bending over to pick up toys.

~You are eternally grateful to Pixar for making movies that you probably appreciate more than the child, since most the humor goes over their head.

~You’re rather appreciative of their willingness to pick up and eat dropped Cheerios off the floor; one less thing to have to sweep up.

~The only things you bother to discipline are the big ticket-things: non-flushable items flushed down the toilet, jumping on private parts and locking you out of the house or car.

~Make and stay friends with a nurse. It’ll save you hundreds in copays.

~There is no guilty conscience whatsoever in donating toys which require batteries, make noise or otherwise interfere with your increasingly-slowing thought process.

~They can actually outrun you now. And you just watch them recklessly fly down the street, as you rock in the rocking chair on the front porch. We’ll hook up sooner or later….

~They learn to be more creative and just as smart since you don’t have the energy to shove all manner of trendy sensory input down their throat. The metal spoon whacked against the pot makes just as fine (if not better) a drum, than the latest retail electronic Fisher-Price equivalent with all the bells and whistles. And the pot drives everybody just a hair crazier anyhow.

~No pants, no shirt, no problem: toilet training made easier…

~You are grateful he learned the hard way (but not too hard!) about why you kept telling him not to touch the stove…one less thing to have to harp on. He gets it now.

~You know the ropes, so you have 5 full years to prepare your argument to the school district as to why your child, born just two days after the cutoff, should be allowed to enter Kindergarten earlier than according to the letter of the law. Besides, it wasn’t your fault…the induction date was a hotly debated issue of negotiation due to an approaching hurricane at the time. Aw, c’mon…

~The line between naughty behavior and experiential learning has become more profoundly blurred.

~It is easier to appreciate the preoperational line of thinking: you understand that the act of charging Daddy unexpectedly from behind with the toilet plunger is an act of securing love, not a derelict violation of household protocol. After you holler at him.

~Maybe french fries in the car seat and animal crackers in bed ain’t so bad after all…they love running the vacuum “all by myself,” anyway.

~Accidentally dumped kitty’s water all over the kitchen floor? Needed mopping anyway. Thanks, kid!

~What goes in, must and will come out, by hook or by crook.

~No one can really tell which side of the debate one’s parents were on when it came to issues like co-sleeping, diapering or pacifiers…we all wind up being a little neurotic anyway.

~You hope they never notice that theirs is the only baby book of all the siblings that only had the first few pages filled out and everything else haphazardly jammed in the front flap, with no pictures because by the time they turned 1 everything was on memory stick anyway.

~Whoops! Who let him out to ride on his Very Noisy Little Tykes Motorcycle at 6 am after the neighbors kept everyone awake till 3 am with their too-loud party?

~You recognize the value of using the baby as a key accessory in the embarrassment of his middle school brother when warranted, until the middle school brother recognizes that the baby can be used as a chick magnet.

~Screen saver pictures at work effectively serve to elevate your status as a Wise Elder, since no one else can claim parenthood at such an old age, and you and your body have endured something they won’t. (Insert audio of Toy Story aliens: “Ooooooooh!”)

~Neither you nor child are quite of the age to really give a rip about too much. Let’s just see how things turn out…

~People are divided into 2 camps: those who assume, and those who can tell but don’t dare to ask.

~You are more inclined to let the crayon scribbles on the wall remain as a sentimental memento, so you can show his future spouse when you are introduced. Besides, the house would be so terribly dull and lifeless if every wall was perfectly maintained…

~All you can do is helplessly turn away and laugh instead of registering appropriate horror when the baby tries his hand at doing what his disabled brother was just admonished for doing in rapid succession at the Fall Festival: coming up behind women with disproportionately and outrageously gargantuan back porches, and losing his hand somewhere in their butt by trying to pat it, angelic smile upward when they generate an updraft by whirling around in shock to see who dared. Let ’em wonder which one in the crowd is the urchin’s mama…

~Beautiful women strike up conversations with Daddy in the grocery store, after cooing over the small, human lure strapped into the buggy.

~It is equally risky to use paid time off for anything but infirmity, since your body has entered its second childhood, and either of you are at risk of requiring sudden medical attention at any given moment. Falling out of a tree is about as easy as dislocating a hip by landing wrong on a meandering Lego.

~You’re the perfect cross between Willy Wonka and Andy Rooney.

Thank you God, for Your perfect timing in all things, for perspective and love. Do we keep You on Your toes, too, God?

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